Yesterday, JulzHOLLA! and I did the Omaha Triathlon. “Oh gosh, here we go again about triathlons.” Uh, you on the front row, shut up. Yes, here I go again, because this time it was a really big deal. For some reason, because it was local and our gym was sponsoring it, and we’re all crazy triathletes, we thought it would be a really great idea to sign up for this triathlon right here in town.
Then we were on the news and all. We lugged all of our kids down to the lake to support and promote the Omaha Tri, and also, to be thrust into celebrity status.
This triathlon is a really big deal for me. It’s my marathon. Because I will not do a marathon. But if I did, it would take me almost as long as this triathlon took: roughly 4 hours. Okay, a marathon might take me 5 hours. Anyways, for the sake of this conversation, this is my marathon. And training for this has been difficult because I’m a mom and it’s summer and “Kids, let’s go back to the gym today, mommy needs to do a 3 hour workout” just isn’t cutting it. So, I might have skimped as much as I could on the workouts. Tack on that roadtrip, and just summer in general, work, and JulzHOLLA!’s summer schedule, and you have one big fat what_the_hell_were_we_thinking cluster when it came to preparing for this triathlon.
“Big deal, you do triathlons like all the time.” Again, down in the front row, jack. We do Sprint Triathlons. Typically sprint tris are Swim: 400-800meters (sometimes in a pool, sometimes it’s an open water swim, Bike 12-15 miles, Run 3.1 miles. And yes, I used the metric/english measuring systems intermittently. That’s how I roll. And Olympic Distance is DOUBLE the distance of a Sprint: Swim 1 mile in open water, Bike 26 miles, Run 6.2 miles. And I don’t know how it happened, seeing as how The Big O is smack in the middle of these “great plains” and all, but the course director happened to find every steep hill in Omaha for the 26 miles of biking, and it turns out, for the run too. Nice. I think Lewis and Clark failed to map this part of the Midwest out. I’m just holding the historians accountable is all I’m sayin.
We even suckered our pal, Cricksta into driving down here and doing this triathlon with us. I’m so glad she did because she brought me some new tunes, and she’s just overall a badass and a ton of fun to hang out with.
The swim was fun. It’s my best part of the race. Which makes me kind of cool, because not many people own the swim as their best part. It also sucks because all those people I passed on the swim _ they pass me right back on the bike or the run. I get done with the swim and think “Well, there goes the best part of your race, time to do the rest. Good luck with all that, Chump.”
I opted to use a Camelback on this ride because it’s the longest ride I’ve done, and it’s really a tough course, and I’ve been known to not handle water bottles on moving vehicles before. So, as we were getting ready, the man I refer to as JulzHOLLA’s bikestore boyfriend, Bryan walks by and says, “You’re totally going to rock this out today.” I ask him real quick if Camelbacks are legal. And he says, “Well, they are legal, but they are not cool.” Good point, I decide to wear it anyways because what would really not be cool is wrecking while trying to drink and drive my bike down hill at 35 mph.
Somewhere on the bike I kept leap_frogging with a few people. Depending on their preferences and mine, I’d pass or be passed going down hill, and then meet back up with these few poor people going up the hill. At about mile 5 or so, some guy I’d been leap_frogging with a bit, simply slowed down as he passed me and said, “You know what, I need someone to talk to, can we just pace the same and will you talk to me.”
“Oh my Gosh. Who sent you? Talking is my favorite thing to do!”
And a friendship was born. Because it took us 2 hours to do the bike race, poor James had to hear me yap the whole way.
I had another first at the T2 (that’s triathlon talk for the second transition from bike to run), I thought it best to hit the port_a_potty before jogging for an hour, seeing as how I’m a mom and that pee thing never really subsides. It gets better, but….well, you know. So, there’s a new first and a definite difference from Sprints to Olympics.
It turns out that the first time James had ever swam in a lake, was that mile we just did at 6:30a.m. this morning! Wow. His cousin called him a few months ago and said, “Hey let’s do this triathlon.” James agreed and got 7 other of his “friends” to do the triathlon with him. And then they all bailed, including that lame ass cousin of his. But James stuck to it, and showed up all on his own. And rocked this mutha out.
I thought for sure James would take off in a dead sprint for the run portion, to escape the yappy lady. But I caught him on the run and we finished the race together. At some point on the run, he needed to hit a port_a_potty. I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s really desperate to get rid of me. I’ll make it easy on him.” But then he said, “Will you wait up for me?” How sweet is that? I think James thought I was helping him. But really he helped me out quite a bit. When I’m out on a triathlon course, it’s kinda lonely. JulzHOLLA! and I train together, but we have different strengths and different paces. It’s kind of an Every_Man_For_Himself kind of a race. What, with all those people passing me on the bike. I mean, I have an awesome bike, I’m in fairly good shape, and still, they pass me. I don’t get it. And I don’t care mostly. I’m still doing this triathlon, and that’s all that matters to me. So, having James there to talk to and be distracted from the large hills, burning ham strings, and achey toes, well, I think he helped me out more than he knows.
At the end of our run _ and let’s be real here _ it was more like a run/walk gig, James and I agreed, I’d go first then him so we could each have our moment to ourselves across the finish line. That part is important.
I ran the last few yards, and looked out onto the lake I’d conquered, uh, ahem, 3 1/2 hours ago, reveled in the fact that I did that ridiculous bike course, and I’m swinging around the corner and I finished and walked right into some kind of fantasy, three men were there to greet me, one with an ice cold towel he put on my back, one with a bottle of water and one with a medal. the guy with the water bottle asked if I was okay, I said yes, but could really use a hug. And he hugged me. Life is good. And then I found Ricardo, who got up at 3:30a.m. with me and hung out and cheered me on everytime I went by. Life is GRAND. I did this. I effn did this, y’all!
I’m gazing into this guy’s eyes, luring him in for a hug.
Afterward, I got home and showered and got ready for my pals to come over and lounge and celebrate our awesomeness! One of my new pals, I met through doing this triathlon at one of the practice swims. When I asked if she wanted to come over afterwards to revel in all of our glory, she asked if she could make a cake. Once again, “Oh My Gosh! Who sent you!?” went through my head. It turns out that fate has brought us together, we do triathlons, she makes cake, and I eat cake. She brought over this beautiful cake. And she brought me an extra tub of homemade frosting. I think I’m in love. Is that wrong?
This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
So, this triathlon was a huge accomplishment for me. I made some cool new friends. And because I did it, watching JulzHOLLA! cross the finish line was a great honor. I am so proud of her. I am proud of us. And I’m so proud to have her as my friend, and training partner!
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: This just came to me. Just sub “triathlete” for gangsta: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta _ Office Space Soundtrack (EAR MUFFS, Y’ALL)